Land (The Seven Sins) introduces a tough original heroine, Caitlin Strong, a fifth-generation Texas Ranger, in the first of what hopefully will be a long crime series. Hyperpatriot Harmon Delladonne runs MacArthur-Rain, a corporation with tentacles in all areas of the U.S. government's security apparatus. Delladonne's project Fire Arrow threatens both the privacy of all Americans and their very lives. Strong, the only gun-totin' female in the legendary Texas Rangers, stumbles onto this plot when she finds her supposedly dead husband, Peter Goodwin, in an institution devoted to treating torture victims. She teams with a dangerous former foe, Cort Wesley Masters, to fight not only Delladonne but Emiliato Valdez Garza, the phantomlike head of the Mexican mafia, and the giant Guillermo Paz, a Delladonne henchman who ponders Kierkegaard while slaying his many enemies. The revelations are constant, the characters compelling and the action fast and furious. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A pageturning thriller featuring Caitlin Strong, a Texas Ranger who uncovers a global conspiracy that stretches all the way from the Mexican Mafia to the Middle East.
After barely surviving an ambush, Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong begins to question whether the law enforcement life is for her. But when her renewed investigation into the incident uncovers a sinister plot, she quickly realizes that the only person who can help her is outlaw Cort Wesley Masters, the man who blames her for his false imprisonment and now wants her dead. Like a skillful painter, Land mixes a contemporary conspiracy thriller with the Wild West legends of the Texas Rangers. Though the ending is a bit too contrived and clearly paves the way for the next Caitlin Strong novel, this is still an amazing and worthwhile endeavor. Land (The Seven Sins; The Last Prophecy) is one of the best thriller writers out there, and his latest deserves a wide audience. Don't miss this one. For all fiction collections.
“Magnificent! The Texas Rangers lore takes a great thriller to a whole new level. Exceptional.” Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to Lose on Strong Enough to Die
“A terrific book! The good, the bad, and the ugly woven into a tale that leaves the reader breathless. Great fun!” Sandra Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Smoke Screen on Strong Enough to Die
“An inventive Tex-Mex thriller. Jon Land's style never waivers.” Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Patriot on Strong Enough to Die
“As rip-roaring as a Texas wildfire! I loved it!” Lisa Jackson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Lost Souls on Strong Enough to Die
“You'll get blisters on your fingers turning the pages so fast, but that won't stop you reading until the slam-bang and very satisfying ending.” John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of Betrayal on Strong Enough to Die
“Thrilling from the dramatic opening to the nail-biting ending, Strong Enough to Die is a complex, twisty page-turner with full, well-developed characters and a meaty story. Plan to stay up all night, because you won't rest until the last bullet hits its mark.” Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of Playing Dead on Strong Enough to Die
“Blisteringly paced, complex in character, and terrifying in scope. Not to be missed!” James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Oracle on Strong Enough to Die
“Strong enough to be a bestseller! It's a page-turner, and I loved the main characters, especially Caitlin. She has a sense of honor and duty, but also a big heart. A very compelling story.” Carla Neggers, New York Times bestselling author of The Angel on Strong Enough to Die
“A supple, elegant thriller, told in an assured tone, from a born stylist who knows how to manipulate a reader in exciting ways. Strong Enough to Die catches you on page one and commands you to finish. Well done.” Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Charlemagne Pursuit on Strong Enough to Die
“A fast-paced, kick-butt, action thriller with a timely story and two of the most captivating characters I've encountered in quite a while.” David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of The Spy Who Came for Christmas on Strong Enough to Die
Read an Excerpt
San Antonio, the Present
"But you made it," Rita Navarro, director of the Survivor Center for Victims of Torture, said from behind her desk,after Caitlin had left her story off with being felled by the second bullet.
"Barely," Caitlin told her.
"And the other Ranger, Charlie Weeks?"
"He didn’t make it."
Navarro slid back slightly from the edge of her desk chair, checking the résumébefore her again as if in search of new information. The light in her cramped office, once a treatment room in the clinic that had formerly occupied this building, came from ceiling- mounted, overly bright fluorescents. But natural light wasn’t an option since the room’s windows had been frosted over by a thick layer of dust and grime. Sometime during the transition from clinic to treatment center, the building had been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair requiring more funds to remedy than were available.
"I’m glad to have had the opportunity to meet you, Ranger Strong—"
"I’m not a Ranger anymore."
"—but what exactly are you doing here? We never advertised for a security specialist." "No, you advertised for a counselor and therapist. That’s what I’m applying for."
"Oh," Navarro said dismissively, and flipped to the second page of the résumé. She was younger than Caitlin had expected. Her name suggested a Hispanic heritage, but Caitlin thought she detected some Native American, Commanche probably, in her peaked cheekbones, narrow jaw and straight dark hair that dropped to the midpoint of her back. She had an engaging smile that Caitlin had so far glimpsed only upon exchanging a quick handshake, finding Navarro’s firm and slightly callused, evidence of a woman who liked to garden in her free time.
Caitlin crossed her legs, then uncrossed them. The stiffness of the wood chair forced her to hunch forward, leaving her shoulders tense. And she was beginning to regret her decision to swap her jeans for pressed light cotton slacks. The jeans did a better job of accentuating her curves and making her long legs stand out less. At five foot nine she had her father’s height and grandfather’s short torso, a model’s body she’d often been told before adding substantial muscle to her frame with regular weight lifting workouts. Her wavy auburn hair was the longest it had ever been, tumbling just past her shoulders. Besides the hair, Caitlin looked no different than she had five years before. Maybe she was trying to freeze time going back to that night in the West Texas desert near the Mexican border. Do that and maybe she could figure out how to make it run backward too.
She still got out in the sun a lot, leaving her skin drier and tighter than she’d prefer. But her complexion was smooth and dark, the rosy cheeks she’d been teased about as a child staying with her to this day.
"After leaving the Rangers, I went back to college and got a master’s in psychiatric social ser vices," Caitlin explained. "Got myself certified in crisis management and intervention. Nice complement to my undergraduate degree in sociology."
Navarro went back to the first page. "You were, let’s see, seven years with the highway patrol before you joined the Rangers."
"You need at least that much service with the Texas Department of Public Safety before the Rangers will even consider you."
"I understand only one of every hundred applicants actually makes it." "Something like that. Since I was the one I didn’t give it much thought."
"Family tradition, it seems."
"Yes, ma’am. My granddad was the last of the real gunslingers. Took down a gang that had robbed four banks in the street outside number five."
"He happened to be having a cup of coffee in the diner across the way. My dad could hit the bull’s-eye with his pistol from a hundred yards nine times out of ten. And my great- granddad and great, great- granddad took part in some of the most famous Ranger campaigns in history."
"The Mexican War being one of them."
"That’d be my great, great- granddad. He was there all right, fighting skirmishes on both sides of the Rio Grande. What makes you ask?"
Navarro tapped her desk with her index fingers, flashing a look that suggested she was leaving something unsaid. "I looked you up on the Internet. Seems like you were in the pro cess of making your own legend with the Rangers."
"But you took down the man they called the most dangerous in all of Texas. McMasters or something."
"Masters. Cort Wesley Masters."
"You didn’t list that on your résumé."
"It was just an arrest. I made dozens of those."
"Only female Ranger ever, is that right?"
"There’ve been a few others, but it never quite worked out, ma’am."
"I imagine it could be a tough job for a woman."
"Well, truth be told, it’s a tough job for anyone, but it’s a lot to ask of a woman, especially, to ride into some Texas town been doing things a certain way for a long while and tell the elected sheriff that you’re the resident Ranger on a case he thought he was in charge of."
"Didn’t seem to bother you much with this Masters."
"I had some luck, ma’am."
Navarro let it go at that, passing Caitlin a faint smile that said she knew there was plenty more to the story. Caitlin was grateful, in no particular mood to rehash her near gunfight with the most feared man in the state. Today was about moving forward, not back.
Navarro studied the pages again, less cursorily this time, no longer feigning interest. "You received a commendation for what happened at the border, saving your partner and all."
"I didn’t save him for long."
"Special Medal for Valor, it says here."
"I didn’t deserve it."
"Because we got ambushed. Seems all wrong getting rewarded for being ambushed."
"You left the Rangers on your own?"
"I did, ma’am."
"Not on disability, it says here."
"I wasn’t disabled."
"Six months after the gunfight in which you were wounded."
"There was the hospital stay."
"Two months," Navarro said, after consulting the pages before her, "to treat two primary bullet wounds."
"Something like that."
"Rehab cost you another two," Navarro read. "Then you rejoined the Rangers for two months, before leaving for good."
"You want to know what happened."
"I am curious as to the circumstances."
"How much you wanna hear, ma’am?"
"How much you want to tell me?"
Excerpted from Strong Enough to Die by Jon Land.
Copyright © 2009 by Jon Land
Published in May 2009 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
Meet the Author
Jon Land is the acclaimed author of numerous bestsellers, including The Seven Sins, The Last Prophecy, Blood Diamonds, The Walls of Jericho, The Pillars of Solomon, A Walk in the Darkness, Keepers of the Gate, and The Blue Widows. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Move over Walker here comes a Texas Ranger with bigger cojoines than you! Catlin Strong is a female ranger who deals with personal issues using her guns and fist. A fun entertaining read.
Jon Land has taken us Mixed Martial Arts fans for a ride. I love this sport and his knowledge of it kept me intrigued. It was also a great novel of suspense. This is his second book I have read. He keeps the pages turning. I finished it in 2 days.
Land's new series has a kick-ass female lead that carries the reader to the end of the story wanting more.
The book is a fun read all the way through, but I draw the line at trying to find some greater meaning in it, what with all the Kierkegaard references. It seems to me like one of those violent video games put to print, where bad guys are getting shot everywhere and no limit to the violence can be found. Note that the publication date is 05/12/09 when you read the reviews here.
Caitlin Strong, widowed when her husband, part of an team of civilian computer experts, is killed in Iraq, has taken up a new profession. The former Texas Ranger has applied for a job as counselor in the Survivor Center for Victims of Torture. The first patient she meets is her husband, barely alive, his mind wiped of everything, including his sense of self. Meanwhile, Cort Wesley Masters, convicted via blood evidence left at the scene of Caitlin's last Ranger mission, has been exonerated by new DNA testing and released from prison. Vowing vengeance, he goes after Caitlin, only to save her and her husband's life when the Survivor Center is attacked and everyone in the building but they are killed. She, in a weird twist, rescues Cort's kids when they are attacked by the same man, a huge, foul man named Guillermo Paz. But why? Uneasy partners, Caitlin and Cort set out to discover what ties them together, and what happened to Caitlin's husband. The answers are buried, and to unearth them means almost certain death. Strong Enough to Die is a great title with meaning on more than one level. The body count piles up to an almost unimaginable height, so if you're squeamish, you might need to wall off the horror. The degree of violence sometimes makes it hard to distinguish the good guys from the bad, although Guillermo Paz turns into the most intriguing character in the book. The cause of all this mayhem is enough to scare the pants off you, incurring belief in the "black helicopter" line of thought. Non-stop action carries the day in this excellent thriller. A real page-turner.
Jon Land's "Caitlin Strong" series is a good one. Have read many of his books and this series is better for me than the ones based in Isreal/Palestine. I have been to both countries and can empathize with their internal problems.
A fifth generation Texas Ranger, Caitlin Strong knows law enforcement is part of her DNA makeup. That is until the border incident near El Paso in 2004 left Caitlin with doubts about law enforcement after her sixty year old partner and family friend Charlie Weeks died and she barely made it in a nasty shootout with mules. She was so traumatized by the episode she becomes the first member of her proud family to quit. Five years later, Caitlin remains haunted by the border ambush. She feels guilt for letting down her family and for simply surviving. Finally seeking closure, she investigates the incident that destroyed her life. The first stunner she uncovers is her spouse Peter Goodwin is alive living in a special hospital that treats only torture victims. She soon begins to uncover a sinister diabolical plot involving super-patriot Harmon Delladonne and his security firm MacArthur-Rain. When her efforts place her on Delladonne's endangered species list, she turns to her former enemy, outlaw Cort Wesley Masters as Delladonne has ties to Mexican Mafiosi chief Emiliato Valdez Garza. This is a strong thriller that cleverly ties the Global War on Terrorism in the Middle East with the human, drugs, and weapons smuggling back and forth between the USA and Mexico. The story line is fast-paced and Caitlin makes a remarkable heroine. Although the climax seems to have too many purposes besides tying up this tale like setting up a sequel, fans will enjoy Jon Land who always provides an entertaining thriller. Harriet Klausner
By Russell Ilg (bookseller and collector)
This is going to be one of the best thrillers of the year. I always hear people say they could not put a book down and have found very few that meet that test. Well, this is that book. It's a very different thriller, using today's Texas Rangers with a lot of history of the earlier years of the Rangers. You are taken for the ride of your life in a novel that never lets up and that you cannot put down. Caitlin Strong is one of the greatest main characters that I have come across in many a year. I almost wish Jon might have more stories for her and her outlaw partner, Cort Wesley Masters. What a pair! You will not believe it till you read it. This is one of his greatest novels of the year so far and that was after reading Land's THE SEVEN SINS which was super. You'll want to mark the calender for this one, since it will be the one to beat in 2009 and they don't get any better. Caitlin is chasing demons from her past as she tries to solve one of the greatest threats she has ever encounted, while having to team up with the one person you would never imagine against a super villain who really wants, and needs, her dead. You can not even begin to believe where this story will take you. It's a must read for every and all thriller fans out there, even if it's the only one you read this year. This novel has got to put Jon Land on the top of the list of your spring and summer reading list. I read 3-4 books a week and so far have not read anything that even comes close to this huge new thriller. Make sure you get out and meet Jon when he is on tour and get your book signed. But be warned: you are going to want to keep this one in a special place because it's the best thriller of the year.